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It’s a weekend of beer, glorious beer, thanks to a couple of organizations that strive to protect Europe’s beer-brewing heritage and help small breweries retain their independence.

Two beer festival venues, one in Belgium and the other in England, are within easy reach of U.S. military communities.

Leuven, Belgium, hosts the 10th annual Zythos Beer Festival on Saturday and Sunday. More than 100 Belgian beer producers will serve a huge range of beers at the city’s Brabant Hall. Zythos, the consumer group organizing the festival, encourages brewers to represent their beers at the fest to interact with the public.

Sampling takes place using a system of vouchers available for 1.40 euros ($1.83) each. Attendees also pay a 3-euro deposit for a tasting glass specific to the type of beer served, refundable for those who don’t wish to keep the glass as a souvenir. This free festival runs from noon to midnight Saturday and 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday. Shuttles run regularly from the city’s train station. Learn more at

The East Anglian Beer Festival takes place through Saturday at the Apex in Bury St. Edmunds, England. Organized by the West Suffolk & Borders branch of the Campaign for Real Ale, or CAMRA, the 22nd edition of this festival showcases more than 80 ciders and ales served from the cask. Admission is 3 pounds, with a tasting glass an additional 3 pounds, refundable upon its return. The festival runs daily from noon to 11 p.m. Find details at

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